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  • My First Professional Offseason: Finding a Job

    My name is AJ Pettersen. I will be blogging for twinsdaily.com throughout the summer. I grew up in Minnetonka, MN, have been a Twins fan my entire life and am honored to be a part of this organization. That being said, I hope my insight into the life of minor league baseball is both interesting and engaging.

    While the lives of minor leaguers may be significantly different from others, after the season ends we look for jobs just like anyone else. The only difference is our availability. Finding a job that pays decently, has flexible hours and doesn’t require your presence 6 months out of the year is nearly impossible. Many players have to get creative when they search for offseason employment.

    My Job Search


    When I returned home from instructional league in mid-October, I knew I would be moving half of my belongings to Emily’s (my fiancée) place in Rochester and half of them at my parents place in Minnetonka. Emily got a job out of college in Rochester and we decided it would be best if I lived there while she worked and we would return to the cities whenever she had 3 or 4 days off from work in a row.

    This meant my job had to be even more flexible than I had originally thought. I brainstormed ideas and couldn’t come up with much beyond working online.

    MTurk


    The first site I stumbled upon was Amazon Mechanical Turk. This is a site where workers complete “hits” and get paid for their work. I researched the best strategies for making money on the site and quickly found myself completing hits, such as organizing kitchen photos into categories like “stainless steel” and “open concept.” I timed myself and found I was making about…$3.50 an hour. I thought, “I either need to get a lot of quicker with my categorizing or watch HGTV to brush up keywords.” Neither of those thoughts made a difference, so I tried something new. I began filling out surveys and writing essays. My hourly wage was rising to about $7 or $8 an hour, but it was becoming more difficult to find the work I wanted to do. There was one employer consistently giving out the best rates to write essays. I searched his name in google and came up with his email, leading to my first real freelance writing client.

    Freelance Writing


    I began writing essays and was making upwards of $20-$30 an hour, with a steady stream of work coming in each day. This nature of these essays was more busy work than I wanted, so I contacted other online writers to see if they had any work for me. One woman responded and wanted me to apply for a weekly blog post on moneyning.com. The host of the site liked my writing and I have been writing for him for the past 3 months.

    From $3.50 to around $30 an hour I make now, my search for employment has been anything but normal. Freelance writing has been a blessing for the flexibility it allows me.

    This article was originally published in blog: My First Professional Offseason: Finding a Job started by AJPettersen
    Comments 12 Comments
    1. Nick Nelson's Avatar
      Nick Nelson -
      Interesting stuff, AJ. Thanks for sharing. It's clear that you have a skill for writing, so I'm glad you've found a way to monetize it. That's always the struggle.
    1. John Bonnes's Avatar
      John Bonnes -
      AJ, does the Twins organization help with offseason employment at all? It seems like with their corporate relationships, they might be able to open some doors.
    1. AJPettersen's Avatar
      AJPettersen -
      Nick, thanks! I appreciate that.

      John, I haven't heard of that happening, that is an interesting thought. I bet if someone were to ask they would be more than happy to help.
    1. John Bonnes's Avatar
      John Bonnes -
      I would think that would especially be the case for a talented writer. Besides all the contacts they have with media, I would think they would have a ton of contacts with marketing departments, who are often looking for writing skills.
    1. greatski's Avatar
      greatski -
      Maybe that would be a new job next off-season: Headhunter for others seeking offseason employment
    1. Twins Fan From Afar's Avatar
      Twins Fan From Afar -
      AJ, thanks for the interesting article. Outside of teaching baseball at camps and thing like that, I have to admit that I never thought too much about what minor leaguers do in the offseason. Writing is a great skill, so way to go!
    1. AJPettersen's Avatar
      AJPettersen -
      Quote Originally Posted by greatski View Post
      Maybe that would be a new job next off-season: Headhunter for others seeking offseason employment
      Great idea! Now keep it quiet so I can get it up and running
    1. BeefMaster's Avatar
      BeefMaster -
      Out of curiosity, do you happen to know what any of your teammates do? I imagine it's especially difficult to find things because lots of seasonal industries (e.g. construction) are active in the summer, not winter - contractors don't need extra guys in Rochester in December.

      I think that's an underappreciated part of being a pro ballplayer from the fans' perspective - for all the "you get played to play baseball!" stuff, there really isn't a lot of money in it at the lower levels.
    1. roger's Avatar
      roger -
      Welcome to the world of blogging A. J. You are with a great group of guys, will look forward to your posts.
    1. dwintheiser's Avatar
      dwintheiser -
      Welcome, AJ, and best wishes on both your baseball and non-baseball careers.
    1. AJPettersen's Avatar
      AJPettersen -
      Thank you both.

      Roger, I hope the MN winter is treating you well. It seems we are getting close to warmer weather and sunshine again!
    1. AJPettersen's Avatar
      AJPettersen -
      Quote Originally Posted by BeefMaster View Post
      Out of curiosity, do you happen to know what any of your teammates do? I imagine it's especially difficult to find things because lots of seasonal industries (e.g. construction) are active in the summer, not winter - contractors don't need extra guys in Rochester in December.

      I think that's an underappreciated part of being a pro ballplayer from the fans' perspective - for all the "you get played to play baseball!" stuff, there really isn't a lot of money in it at the lower levels.
      Sorry it took me so long to respond. I have a few friends in pro ball who do a number of different things. The most common work players find is doing clinics. It pays pretty well per hour and ballplayers are well qualified. I had a friend from the U of M who worked for an engineering company this offseason. His dad works there and he has a degree in mechanical engineering, so it was a good fit. My buddy I workout with in Rochester worked at a factory for 40 hours a week this year. His dedication to making money to support his dream of playing baseball was pretty inspiring. So to answer your question, the jobs are varied. It depends significantly on the financial situation and qualifications (degree, previous work, etc).
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